Court finds cattle breeder guilty of selling bull with banned substance

A cattle breeder has been convicted, fined €500 and ordered to pay costs of €5,000 after he was found guilty of selling an animal which had been given bute, a banned substance.

Stanley Richardson (67) from Woodford, Newtowngore, was found guilty earlier today, September 13, at Carrick-on-Shannon court today.

Richardson was found guilty of selling a bull which had been administered the banned substance phenylbutazone, also known as bute, at Roscrea Mart, Co Tipperary on March 10, 2014.

Further charges, of administering, being in possession bute and selling the bull at Tuam, Co Galway on April 14, 2014 were taken into consideration by the court.

The banned substance has the potential to have a carcinogenic effect on humans, thus why it is prohibited in food producing animals. Bute can be used to treat horses, as it is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, provided horses treated are not intended for human consumption.

Last week, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) issued a warning to farmers to take care if using the drug to treat horses, as research by AFBI found that the risk of inadvertently contaminating cattle through the use of it is very real.

Despite the drug being banned in animals for the food chain, official statistics provided by the EFSA show that around 0.1% of cattle tested in the European Union in 2014 had detectable bute residues.